Etnies Footwear USA

Etnies has been a strong and consistent presence within skateboarding since 1986. In 1999 I was lucky enough to be offered the art director position for this iconic skate brand. Relocating to Laguna Beach, California, I began creating a more hand-built, fun, and inclusive brand identity, redesigning their iconic word mark, and building a more contemporary visual style.

This new approach aimed to enable a more tangible connection with the brand and its skate team when many skate companies had started to look and sound more mainstream. Many brands were losing some of their skate edge in a rush to embrace a more corporate approach to design, branding, and consumer engagement. 

By utilising in-camera techniques, hand-styled sets, and a far more textural approach to the design and marketing output, my work created a more playful and creative environment for the brand.

Playing with my love of set building, I focused on creating ads and campaigns that were as loose as possible. Using hand built sets, in-camera techniques and simple handwritten type, I allowed the brand to express a more varied persona. The initial in house response was somewhat cold, but over time and after much praise from the publications that ran these ads, the style was welcomed and has since become more recognised.

Ad campaigns like “I Wish” focused on the choices we all make in life and how, in those small moments of stress, we can all wish we had taken a different path. The ads contained a collection of stock photography and images exploring various humorous and pivotal moments where the subject is seen to be having a moment of reflection.

Etnies is a skater-run company at its heart, and I honored this by creating more fun and adventurous campaigns, catalogs, and assets.

Master Mind: Pierre André Senizergues
Marketing Director: Don Brown
Creative Guru: Yogi Proctor

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